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SS14 and Underage Drinking

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

So my gem of a DH (sarcasm) allowed my SS14 to drink while family was in town at SD18's high school graduation. They were playing beer pong and flip cup. Not only did SS14 have beer, he also had vodka, in the same evening.  My DH failed to appropriately monitor SS14, and I'm not clear as to why he felt the need to bring SS into that situation. I was home and available to stay with SS, along with our young LOs. He could have met up with friends his own age, under parental supervision.

To say that I am livid with DH is an understatement. I was fuming when I found out. IMO, there is absolutely NO reason that a 14 year old needs to be drinking alcohol, nor does his PARENT need to be providing it. The long story short in case you don't know the background, is that my DH says one thing, but in reality, is a lax parent who is afraid of losing his kids, and therefore lets them get away with a lot. As a result, my SD18 is a spoiled, entitled young woman, with no work ethic, and little empathy for anyone but herself. I had hopes for my SS14, who is a little more well balanced, and who I had more influence over since I came into his life younger.

What scares me the most now is that I will end up with a kid, who is just entering high school, who thinks its ok to drink, not just because his friends are doing it, but because his Dad is right there drinking with him and providing the alcohol. I do NOT want SS's friends thinking that our house is the party house, that DH will supply booze, and that this is all "normal" for high school.

My question: Am I being naive? Is this what ALL teens do now? I didn't as a teen because my parents would have throttled me. Same with my siblings. They let us try sips of things when we were older - around 17/18 - before we went to college. In college, I was careful, drank a little, but infrequently. My feeling is that 14 is wayyy too young, brains are not even close to being fully formed, lack of maturity cannot handle alcohol, and teens that age are already doing dumb stuff. No need to add a mind altering substance.

We have some beer at home, and some hard alcohol. I was considering chucking all of it... or refilling the bottles with water. What say you stepparents?

tog redux's picture

It's legal for parents to give minors alcohol, in many states, including yours.  That's just a fun fact, because I wouldn't give a 14 yo alcohol either.

justmakingthebest's picture

I just looked it up and my state allows for a parent to provide alcohol as long as you are in the home and only given to your child, not thier friends. CRAZY!

advice.only2's picture

No this is not good practice. Partying with your underage kids just sets a presednce that "dad" isn't really dad, but more his buddy and SS won't see DH as an authority figure in the future.

Goodluck's picture

OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO a 14 year old should not be drinking booze. DH is fortunate the kid is ok. Why does DH think it is not a big deal?

Also your both lucky the neighbors didn't call the police because "your music " was too loud or something like that. Could have turned out very bad for you and DH.

You do what you want to do with the stuff you have at home. Pour it, give it away or Leave it there under lock and key.

Idiots who do this stuff---totally idiots.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Friends of DH hosted the party about an hour a way from us, so fortunately it wasn't in our neighborhood. DH did ask if we could host a party, and it was a firm no from me given that we have small children at home and that I was not Ok with the liability,

tog redux's picture

It's legal to let your own kids drink in your home - so he wouldn't have been in trouble. 

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

DH would have undoubtedly turned a blind eye and allowed the other kids to drink as well. In our home. It would have put both of us at risk as the homeowners, not to mention the safety issues for the minors drinking.

ESMOD's picture

Theoretically, I don't have as much of an issue with teens and drinking.  I moved to Germany as a 14 yo and had access to beer/wine/liquor from that point on.  Prior to that, I had tasted (not really drank in quantity) beer and champagne.  My parents would let us have champagne (a sip of champagne mixed with a glass of ginger ale..lol) at new years etc...

One of the bigger worries with drinking was driving, but we didn't have cars when we were in HS in europe... so that at least was not an issue.

Again, I don't have a puritanical view of it BUT.. clearly if a parent allows their child to have a drink with them.. they need to be very clear what boundaries are in place.

For me, my parents were crystal clear that my friends would not be supplied. 

I could see him letting the kid have a beer or two in his father's presence but be clear he doesn't want the kid to be drinking out of his sight.. and that he is never to drink and drive.. and have lectures on the choices he makes and the consequences etc...

In this case.. though, not sure if the dad has really made good choices because.

1.  He let the kid participate in drinking games.. that are generally designed to get you "wasted"

2.  He did this at another person's home.. opening THEM up to legal risk of providing a minor alcohol..

3.  It doesn't sound like he is inclined to not be "buddy dad".

4.  The risks are bigger in stepfamily situations because there can be a BM out there spoiling for a fight and letting your kid drink might not be popular with a judge.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Thank you for that insight. Under different circumstances, I might feel differently if alcohol were introduced at home, just with parents, and more to get a taste for it along with conversations about safety. Even in that context, though, with SS being emotionally immature for a 14 year old, I don't think he's ready. I think I'll use the three points you made at the end of your post when we talk to the couples therapist again.

beebeel's picture

If the kid were 17-20, I wouldn't have a problem with this. But 14??? Yeah, your DH is an idiot.

Harry's picture

It’s DH doing or playing DISNEY Dad.  When he knows it’s wrong.  It’s wrong to let SS 14 play beer pong it goes against what society saids.  He knows his SO will be upset by it.  But he is playing friend not the father to the 14yo.  Putting the 14 yo above his wife,  rather the 14 yo be happy with him then his wife be happy with him